Hong Kong and Singapore attract the most international travelers, according to Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations Ranking for 2012.
The London-based marketing research firm, which released its report on Monday, spent more than a year analyzing data from official sources.
Asia Pacific cities dominate the list with six of the top 10 and 32 of the top 100 spots.
Twenty cities are from Western Europe.
Hong Kong’s popularity comes largely thanks to its northern neighbors.
Chinese visitors make up 63.5% of the city’s inbound visitors, up 11.1% in 2012 compared with 2011.
According to Euromonitor, international arrivals to Hong Kong would be static without this group.
China’s October 2013 ban on shopping tours may result in a decrease in Chinese visitors to Hong Kong and Seoul (another prominent retail city), the report stated.
Euromonitor predicts that by 2017, China will be the leader in international departures followed by Germany and Russia.
Currently, Germany, the United States, UK, China and Russia are the top five countries for international departures, according to Euromonitor.
Meanwhile, Chinese cities are struggling to attract visitors.
Shanghai, Beijing and Zhuhai ranked low in 2012 because of a slowing economy, strong yuan and pollution, said Euromonitor’s report.
Disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands have further discouraged tourists from Japan, once a top source of tourism to China.
Top city destinations by arrivals and growth
1. Hong Kong — 23,770,200 (6.5%)
2. Singapore — 21,345,700 (7.7%)
3. Bangkok — 15,822,600 (14.6%)
4. London — 15,461,000 (2.3%)
5. Macau — 13,360,800 (3.4%)
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — 13,339,500 (6.7%)
7. Shenzhen, China — 12,100,400 (9.6%)
8. New York City — 11,618,000 (8.9%)
9. Antalya, Turkey — 10,296, 600 (-1.6%)
10. Paris — 9,780,800 (3.3%)